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Graduate Degree Program in International Business Overview

Majors Overview May 8, 2015

Get information about graduate degree programs in international business and their coursework and job and wage outlook.

Information on International Business Graduate Degree Program

Schools offer graduate degree programs in international business as a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) with a concentration in International Business or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in International Business.

While statistical analysis, public policy, multinational business administration, and basic management practices are available in both programs, foreign language and business plans may also be the focus of a master’s degree program. Coursework may also include internship experiences.

Students may expand their knowledge in areas such as economics, sociological research methods, and qualitative analysis. Teaching assistantships may also be a teaching tool. Those who successfully graduate from these programs may seek careers as college professors, analysts, or general operations managers.

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) Programs in International Business

Armed with international business degrees, students may seek general operations manager positions. Students usually take one to two years to complete most Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree programs, which usually admit any student with a four-year degree.

However, course prerequisites have to be completed by individuals without degrees in business areas before they are allowed to begin core coursework. Finance, statistical research, economics, and accounting are among the prerequisite courses.

Students enrolled in some programs are encouraged to learn a widely spoken foreign language, such as Japanese, German, Spanish, or Chinese. Coursework also involves the exploration of the different cultures likely to be encountered by graduates in the field.

Armed with M.B.A. degrees, graduates can expect to become adept at forecasting business trends and analyzing international operations, in addition to demonstrating strong presentation, statistical analysis, communication, and written skills. While the coursework provides a base for these skill sets, internships allow for their practical application by students in an international M.B.A. program.


Organizational theory, management, and accounting are available in foundational M.B.A. courses. This study is typically expanded in the international business major within the context of foreign cultures while gaining an understanding of learning about organizational design, multinational corporations, and public policy. Core coursework may include subject areas such as:

•Business plans
•Foreign language
•International business research
•Corporate organization
•International finance strategies
•Financial analysis

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth of 12% has been predicted for general operations managers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2014, general operations managers brought in an average annual wage of $117,200. Wages varied by specialization, industry, and business experience. Graduate or baccalaureate degrees are sufficient for most positions in general operations management.

International business majors can also pursue careers as management analysts; in 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $78,600 (BLS).

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 18% has been predicted for analysts (BLS). Employers for many positions require candidates to hold a four-year degree. However, a graduate degree may be required for more specialized positions.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Programs in International Business

Doctorates in international business are available for individuals who seek careers as teachers or management analysts. Students with master’s degrees are usually allowed to pursue Ph.D. programs; however, enrollment may be allowed by holders of four-year degrees that have completed prerequisite courses during the preliminary year of doctoral study.

Graduate courses are devised to teach students about analyzing international business from an interdisciplinary perspective, taking into account management practices, statistical data, public policy, and culture. Geography, political science, and sociology may also be explored by coursework.

Students have to participate in teaching assistantships to develop their presentation and teaching skills before they are allowed to earn their Ph.D.s, especially if they wish to pursue careers teaching university students. They can apply their learning to educate prospective clients about the comparative trade advantages of one nation over others or to impart professional advice on international business operations. Coursework in global business theory, econometrics, and linear statistics is also completed by graduate students that seek to develop these abilities.


Advanced mathematics courses, including those in multivariate analysis, econometrics, and statistical analysis, are completed by all doctoral candidates. Students also learn about designing research models, which may involve mathematical and sociological variables. Core coursework may include subject areas such as:

•Sociological research methods
•International corporate practices
•Qualitative analysis
•International business history

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth of 19% has been predicted for college instructors; the anticipated growth is credited to the expected increase in the number of college students (BLS). In 2013, college instructors brought in an average annual wage of $75,120. A master’s degree is sufficient for most temporary or adjunct positions, while only doctorate holders can seek tenured positions.

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